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SVMC Emergency Department Removes Emergency-Use Tents & Welcomes One Unique Visitor for Patients Seeking Emergency Services

Sierra View Medical Center (SVMC) has removed the emergency-use tents outside of the Emergency Department (ED) and is updating the visitor policy for ED patients in alignment with new state guidelines and recommendations. The number of COVID-19 cases has been at an all-time low for several weeks and, beginning May 1, 2021, the ED will once again welcome a single, unique visitor for patients admitted at the ED.

Emergency-Use Tent Removal

During the week of April 26th, SVMC’s Engineering and Environmental Services were busy working with the ED team to break down and clean the climate-controlled tent structures that went up more than a year ago off of Putnam Ave. The temporary tents were first installed to meet social separation requirements from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and were used as a pre-screening area for patients before they entered the facility. The tent structures were climate controlled with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters. They were used for a waiting area and were equipped with mobile carts and other wireless capabilities to input patient data. After the special-use permit expired for the tent structures, the hospital decided to not renew the permit due to the tent structures being underutilized for several weeks.

Screening to Take Place Inside

The ED team members has begun screening patients inside of the ED’s building. The Triage Registered Nurse will screen all patients. The same safety precautions that have been taken within the tent to screen patients with COVID-like symptoms will remain in place to ensure the safety of Sierra View’s emergency patients. Safety precautions include screening, social distancing and mandatory masking guidelines to patients, visitors and employees safe.

Visitor Policy Change: One (1) Unique Visitor (Support Person) Now Welcome

Starting Saturday, May 1st, the Emergency Department’s visitor policy will change to welcome a single, unique visitor for admitted ED patients. This change is in alignment with the latest guidelines from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and recommendations from Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency (TCHHSA). Just as with phase three of the SVMC's reopening guidelines, the unique visitor (support person) must stay in the patient’s room for the duration of their visit.

Visitors will be screened by security personnel at the ED entrance upon entering the facility and must have no signs or symptoms of COVID-19; not be in the process of being tested for COVID-19; not have tested positive for COVID-19; and not have a known exposure to a COVID-19 positive person. Visitors must wear a face covering upon entry and at all times within the facility. Visitors should maintain physical distancing from other visitors not from the same household and from the facility’s health care professionals at all times. To read the updated visitor guidelines for the ED, please visit sierra-view.com/visitors.

Patient and Visitor Parking

Patients and visitors are once again welcome to use the circle driveway for patient drop-off and the parking that is in front of the ED. They will continue using the front doors as the main point of entry. Patients will be guided to the left for screening and an assessment of their condition. Visitors will be guided to the right to answer mandatory screening questions.

On-Going Safety Precautions

From broken bones to stroke, our award-winning ED team is here to care for Porterville and surrounding communities. Sierra View Medical Center’s safety precautions continue in place to ensure the utmost wellbeing of all patients. The ED has separate areas for patients with COVID-like symptoms and patients arriving for other health issues. Please remind family and friends not to delay emergency care for fear of COVID.